Leaks can tell the world what is really happening
Imagine that we are all one mass of colliding colourful molecules, and that we are essentially made for a life of joyful symbiosis, which is sometimes disrupted by another aspect within us, driven by destruction and greed.
Julian Assange has been a force (a journalist) who has spent his life trying to expose these areas of gross corruption. When we hold such a force in captive, we essentially hold ourselves captive -- the part in us that won’t accept injustice against anyone, anywhere.
We should free ourselves. In Shona, the morning greeting goes: “How did you sleep?”
And the reply is: “I slept well if you slept well.”
Now imagine this: It is March 25, 1971. A secret operation to silence the opposition in East Pakistan is launched: Operation Searchlight.
Poor Muslim peasants gunned down. Hindus searched for circumcision signs, then murdered. Mosques, universities -- nothing spared. Everything was killing ground. No one in the world knew what was happening.
Rather, US President Nixon wanted to do everything in his power to buoy Yahya Khan until solid relationships were established with the Chinese.
But who could stop the leaks, and the journalists who published them? It was the leaks from missionaries, school-teachers, anyone with outside contact that informed the world of the genocide taking place.
Now think about Julian Assange and the establishment of WikiLeaks. He sees the gross abuse of human rights around the world and people desperate to leak the news with the hope of stopping it. His most well-known leak is the video of the targetted killings of unarmed journalists in Iraq, titled “Collateral Damage.”
Bangladeshi diplomats and others in the government can play a special role in mediating the release of Julian Assange, as our country was founded with the help of leaks. We know in our hearts what it means to be David facing Goliath, and how lucky we were that David had leakers on his side in 1971.
Without a doubt, it is in the interest of the US to befriend and support an institution like WikiLeaks because it stands for everything the founding fathers wanted: Life, liberty, and justice for all. Instead of being the cause of confusion, WikiLeaks can become a part of the United States’s legacy.
Let us now consider the man, Julian Assange. He was born on July 3, 1971 to Australian parents in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. He enjoys physics, computer programming, and mathematics. He loves to care for his children.
Having been in confinement for the last seven years, he must wonder how they have bloomed. Any parent can understand the longing for his children he must contend with.
If we continue with our silence, it is the misfortune of our human condition to fail in aiding an innocent man who believes that crimes by a government should be exposed and that the best form of government is a transparent one.
I am especially shocked by the silence of Muslim countries. To me, anyone supporting institutionalized cruelty and greed are the Quarashis, and anyone standing for justice, equality, and symbiosis is a friend of the Beloved, whether the Beloved is Muhammad or Allah.
Julian Assange is indeed a friend of the Beloved.
Shireen Pasha is a contributor.